Logan Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Wolverine’s had a checkered history with his films. Most people didn’t care for the first one or even the second all that much. This was the one that finally made the books as a definitive title for the character. At least for most people because after seeing this one I can confirm that it is the weakest film in the X-Men franchise. Yes, weaker than X-Men origins. It’s a very depressing look at how the Marvel Universe could have turned out for the mutants and Wolverine never really got to have his happy ending.

The movie starts up in the future where Wolverine is even more of a drunk than usual and doesn’t have any qualms about using his claws on people now. He’s just sick of everything turning out so badly so he’s been saving up money for a while now. He’ll take Professor Xavier away and they’ll both basically die. Wolverine even got himself some adamantium bullets to finish the job. Before any of this can happen, a lady appears asking for his help. Wolverine definitely says no since his adventuring days are over but she is murdered and her daughter Laura ends up hitching a ride.

Professor Xavier insists on their helping her so Wolverine is stuck now. He’ll have to try and get her to her final destination which is supposed to be a safe haven from the mutant hunters. This won’t be easy though as something is up with Wolverine’s abilities and his healing regeneration has been greatly reduced. Meanwhile Xavier has a lot of seizures now and can barely use his abilities either. Time is not on their side so the race is on.

I definitely have a lot of issues with the film, mostly just around how depressing it all is so lets go with the positives first. The fight scenes are very solid. I think that characters with a strong regeneration ability should be used to fighting a little recklessly because any trade is actually in their favor. So they can be good with either landing hits on their own, or dealing out equal damage. It makes sense so I’m cool with that and Wolverine does get in some good combos once he gets going.

I do think he feels very nerfed but at least there is a story reason for it. Otherwise I would expect Wolverine to look much better in this film. Another positive is that Laura’s character was handled very well. She has grown up with a rather lousy life at this point and so she is doing her best to move on forward. She doesn’t dwell on the past all that much and only talks when necessary. She really just wants to complete her mission and get to safety to put this life of violence behind her. When she does fight Laura is calculated and ruthless in destroying her opponents.

She’s not some kind of super hero so she doesn’t have to worry about the mercy rule. Laura’s life has always been in a do or die scenario so if she doesn’t strike quickly then she knows that it could all be over. I thought she was definitely the highlight here and in general I always liked her character. It would be a lot of fun to see her more in some future movies.

Okay now lets talk about some of the iffy stuff. First we have to talk about Wolverine. I’m cool with a main character being reluctant to help and not wanting to get back into the hero game. So when he turns the lady down the first few times you can understand. There is no obvious threat at the moment and there are presumably others who can help. Once she asks him for help again by flagging his car (Wolverine runs an Uber type operation) and it’s obvious that she is in critical danger, he shouldn’t have left her again.

Bring her and Laura with him in the car. Abandoning her was just an awful look and I can see why Laura was so upset. Logan tries abandoning Laura several times as well later on in the film. He also puts Caliban in a rather bad spot by having him drive off with the villain. This version of Logan has absolutely 0 qualms about killing so just stab the guy a few more times to make sure that he doesn’t get up,. I’ll give him less grief about this though since he thought that the guy was dead.

Logan is just way too depressed here though to the point where he acts like a villain. It’s almost like Bruce Wayne nearly murdering Terry McGuiness back in the first episode of Batman Beyond by turning off the suit. There’s a line that you cross when you go too far into being a thorn in the way of justice. That’s just how Logan is here and it takes an extremely long time until he finally gets ready for action.

Then you throw in the fact that he’s a lot weaker here and it’s annoying to see him lose just about every fight that he’s in. Common thugs are beating him up left and right, never mind the X-24 clone who really lays him out. Even if Wolverine’s not a nice guy anymore, you hope to see him getting some wins but until his rage mode near the end he is getting thrown around a whole lot. It’s not cool and it definitely doesn’t help him as a character. I just didn’t like Logan here, his days of being the Wolverine were definitely long gone.

I can’t say that I liked how Xavier was portrayed either. The guy is half crazy and can’t even control his own abilities with the seizures now. I have a super hard time believing that this could happen to a telepath, particularly one of Xavier’s ability. The twist of how this affected the X-Men was also awful. It’s certainly a convenient way to make sure that nobody else shows up but it’s not satisfying at all. To think that this is how it would all end after so many battles and fights to achieve peace between humans and mutants.

This ending is certainly not what anyone would have hoped for. I’d have much preferred Xavier to go out in a blaze of glory or something like that. In the end, the world went from being fantastical to quite normal since the world seems like any everyday place now. At least Caliban seemed like a reasonable guy right from the start for the heroes. He was probably the only one who seemed like a nice guy with no drawbacks so of course things get really rough for him here.

As for the villains, Pierce is the main one and he’s okay I guess. There’s just not a lot to him and you could think of the guy as an average thug only he’s got some tech so he can fight a little bit. I think with a bit more screen time he could have been better as the charismatic kind of villain but the film was not able to pull that off. Dr. Zandar is your average twisted scientist villain who just likes to be as evil and cruel as possible so there’s not much to him either. Not a quality villain.

The only one who seemed solid was X-24. At first I actually thought he was Sabretooth who somehow managed to return to the main lines once more but the twist worked out rather well. I like the idea of this guy being as savage as Wolverine was in his prime so the dilemma is in how to take this guy out. He really is quite strong and made for an impressive threat. Whenever he was on screen you knew that things were going to get really tough for the heroes.

As you’d probably expect, this film gets very violent. You really have the claws in full force by both the heroes and villains with the usual human experimentation going on as well. It’s trying really hard to be the most violent of the X-Men films to live up to the Wolverine rep and it earns this but at the detriment of the film. You don’t need all of this excessive violence and it takes away from the action scenes. The movie definitely should have toned things down and it would have helped out.

At least the ending of the film is solid enough. I didn’t have any issues with it and it seemed like a classic way to end things. I absolutely would have preferred a happier ending with more room for big sequels and all that but it still wasn’t bad. It’s not a grim dark ending either, just more of a bitter sweet one so the heroes couldn’t win on all fronts and had to settle for a few.

At the end of the day, part of the problem with this film is that it’s going more for an apocalyptic future vibe rather than being a full blown comic book movie. You don’t have too many big battles with lots of super abilities and flashy CGI. Instead you usually have very dreary backgrounds with the characters fighting very ordinary humans aside from X-24. The fact that the humans do well is sad in itself. At least by the end you have them taking the Ls as the heroes finally get ready for combat.

Overall, Logan’s not a good movie. It really wrecks Logan’s character quite thoroughly and I would say that Xavier was really mishandled as well. Laura was a shining point in the movie at least. You’re better off watching Dark Phoenix as the true end point to the X-Men series as that one soared above expectations and did deliver with a lot of fun fights and cool plots going on. If Wolverine does get another film, I’d like them to just put him in a fun setting and let us see Wolverine the superhero as opposed to Logan, the jaded old timer.

Overall 4/10

Morbius Review


Morbius is one of those films that seemed doomed on arrival. Nobody really cared all that much about the character so why would a whole film about him do good? It’s also vampire themed which was tapped out decades ago. The only thing that put this film on the map were the memes and unfortunately it’s safe to say that the memes are better than the actual film. I wanted to hear someone yell “It’s morbin time!” in the film at least once. Ah well, at least the second after credits scene is hilarious and one of the funniest ones you’ll ever see. It’s a serious scene that is funnier than most of the humor based ones so the film has that going for it.

The movie starts by introducing us to Morbius and his friend Milo who were both born with a very rare blood disease. They can barely even walk and their bodies will continue to deteriorate until they die very young. They also have nonstop pain that hits them during every waking moment so their lives are quite tough. Morbius is determined to develop a cure though. Many years pass and Morbius is really close but the only solution appears to be involving bats and he will have to break a lot of laws to pull this off. Morbius succeeds but at a heavy cost. He is now a vampire and must drink blood in order to survive. Fake blood also won’t suffice for very long so soon he will need to feed on humans. Can Morbius resist the urge and find a cure for the cure or is he doomed? One thing’s for sure, he has no catchphrase to fall back on and save his life.

Lets talk about some of the stuff that doesn’t work here. Right off the bat you can bet that the blood stuff is a non starter here. You always have Morbius drinking blood and everything because that’s how he is able to exist. We don’t really see the blood but it’s nevertheless quite gross to see him drinking out of the bags and always gagging afterwards. Blood is just not a good drink to have at the ready and it’s a disadvantage of the vampire genre.

Then you also have this really awful song/dance sequence for Milo. Oh man it could have at least been semi decent if the song wasn’t so bad but it was one of the worst songs I’ve seen in a film in quite a while. The film couldn’t afford to have a scene like that because it was already skating on thin ice. I also just didn’t like Milo in this film. The guy gets too emotional too quickly and never thinks anything through rationally. He’s the kind of guy who seems okay for a minute there but very quickly you realize that any amount of power would quickly corrupt him. This guy is not hero material.

As for Morbius, the guy was running experiments on animals which is a really rough way to start his character arc. Experimenting on animals is never okay and so that’s an easy way to get me not to root for the character. He’s also just not my kind of lead for the most part as he lacks confidence and isn’t ready to just get in there and start landing hits. There are some brief moments where he gets real confidence and starts to be a real main character but those moments rarely last. At least based on the after credits scene he is finally back to being a confident leader so if they stick with that for any sequels then that will be an improvement.

The real standout character here was actually Al. So in a subplot that doesn’t go anywhere you have these two cops, Simon and Al. They are basically following Morbius around and trying to get to the bottom of the situation. What I liked about Al a lot was how he was able to quickly see through everyone’s lies. For one reason or another everyone he talked to would always lie to his face. So Al tends to give sarcastic remarks back to let them know that he knew they were lying and t was a nice dynamic. I was glad that he didn’t just play dumb there. This guy was quick on the uptake and I think giving him more scenes would have been nice.

Then you have the serious member Simon. He gets a quick chase scene with Morbius and holds him at gun point so this guy is very impressive. I really think the cops had a solid dynamic so it’s a shame that they couldn’t have done more. As it is, you could cut them out of the film and nothing would really change. They may give some set up for a sequel film but at the end of the day that doesn’t have much baring on this one.

The main heroine here is Martine and she’s a solid character. You just wish the film didn’t have to throw her into a romance right away. It doesn’t add anything to the film and the romance is just so weak. You don’t see why this started at all because they had a good working relationship going and you don’t want to wreck that by having both characters start getting emotional. It’s always best to keep it professional and that would have been a good idea. At least this way Morbius has an extra loyal ally at all times. Martine does well in staying strong under pressure.

Finally you have Emil who was the mentor type figure in the film which means that the death flags around him were absolutely massive. It’s very rare for the character to not get absolutely wrecked in a film like this. At least he talks tough and seems to be in the know. There’s not a whole lot he could have really done differently here.

One positive thing I can say about the film is that the effects are really good. Personally I liked the energy trails that Morbius would leave behind him during fights. The action scenes really hold up quite well. Morbius is also surprisingly powerful so he would definitely be able to hold his own against other Marvel heroes. His only weakness would be the time limit without drinking blood so he’ll need to find a fix for that. So at least the movie does have a little glimmer of hope there.

The sequel just needs to focus more on the action and less on the vampire elements. It also needs a fresh villain here, someone with a different power set so you can have more imaginative battles. I would have my hopes quite low for a sequel but I am sure that you can still pull it off with the proper writers and a good story. You don’t even need to rely on guest stars although they certainly would not hurt.

Also, one of the main conflicts here felt a little forced in how it happens. It reminded me a lot of the Amazing Spider-Man 2. So keep in mind that with this condition you are constantly in a lot of pain and so if there’s a way to end that pain then you’re most likely going to take it. I felt like Morbius had 0 empathy at this point and handled the situation in the worst way possible. At least offer some hope about a real cure coming soon but otherwise it does appear to everyone like Morbius was thinking “I got mine!” and leaving it at that.

It doesn’t excuse the villain from going crazy immediately but you can definitely see how it happened. The whole situation may not have been avoidable but it’s hard to say and would definitely have gone differently at the very least otherwise. It’s not that hard to have at least been a little tactful but of course that’s not Morbius’ strength.

The film doesn’t really have many fun scenes either. Like you’re never laughing except for after the credits and most of the film is just rather dreary. I would say the premise was fine but the execution was just bad. Still, if you do watch the film then stick around for the after credits scenes. I actually liked both of them which is rare since when you have two, usually one of them will be sub par as a result. Fortunately that was not the case this time.

Overall, Morbius is basically as bad as everyone said it was. The film just didn’t even feel like it was trying. The vampire stuff is pretty bad but even the normal scenes tend to be okay at best. I liked Morbius beating up some thugs and stealing their base but for every scene like that you have 5 lab scenes of him either drinking blood or getting hit with needles. The movie needed a completely different approach. Ironically the memes actually laid the groundwork for this so the sequel should embrace them and then the film could be good. Perhaps it would feel a bit like pandering but if executed right then we’d really be in business.

Overall 3/10

Skyscraper Review


Skyscraper is a film that didn’t get a ton of hype after it was released. It just seemed to be forgotten by the wayside right away. Still, the trailers looked like fun and I would say that the movie delivers on the premise. It may not be doing anything super original but it’s what I would call a very safe action film. You know what you’re going to get. There aren’t any big twists and turns here, just a lot of big action stunts and some fight scenes. You can’t go wrong with this title and any action fan will have a good time here.

The movie starts off with Will taking a big injury which forces him to retire from the hostage squad. Fortunately he has a good gig as a security consultant now and was even invited over to check on the largest building in the world. His wife Sarah and their two kids are allowed to live in the building in the meantime as it’s otherwise empty for the moment. It’s all looking good until a bunch of terrorists light the building on fire and race to the top. They want to grab some kind of device that Zhao has, so the CEO locks himself in the penthouse suite. Will has 3 objectives now, he needs to rescue his family, stop the terrorists, and recover the device. If he is unsuccessful then the world could be in grave danger.

To try and give the villains a fighting chance for a change, Will lost his leg a while back so he has to use a prosthetic in order to move around normally. While the intent may have been to nerf his abilities a bit, I wouldn’t say that the film did a great job here since it doesn’t really seem to slow him down at all. If anything it comes in handy for things like stopping doors from closing or being used as a blunt object. Suffice to say, there are no fighters here who can take Will on. At best they can buy some time for themselves by taking hostages as otherwise Will would just take them out in an instant.

Will’s a solid main character. He’s your classic family man just trying to do a good job and keep it moving. The guy’s previous history of combat experience is comically long which I think the film was having some fun with as the detective reads off his profile. I can definitely see how you could do more sequels to this film if you really wanted to since Will is a jack of all trades here. Regardless, there’s nothing bad to say about him.

Will’s wife Sarah also does well when it counts. She is able to use some self defense against one of the villains when he attacks and she is able to generally take control of the situation rather well. Knowing the basics of combat really goes a long way. The two kids mainly just get in the way. It’s mostly unavoidable I suppose since they’re just kids but they won’t be winning any awards here. Without them the adventure would have been a lot easier for the heroes.

Now as the film goes on we also get to see the outside world reacting to this a bit including Inspector Wu. He does his best to get a handle on things but he is really ineffective here. It doesn’t help that his sidekick is super determined to prove that this was an inside job despite all evidence to the contrary. I thought she was incredibly unreasonable the whole time. In other movies there are instances where the skeptic is reasonable but this isn’t one of them. For example, you know all the classic films where a character is stabbed so they immediately say that they can’t be guilty since no person would stab himself?

I always call foul on that because a good villain would absolutely do that. This film though makes that more unreasonable, you have Will’s family being held hostage and the guy is jumping across buildings and performing all kinds of big acrobatic stunts. There is also a lot of visible evidence that people have entered the facility. It just seems like a reach to keep pinning this on Will and Wu takes some blame for just allowing it to happen and not saying much.

The film’s villains are more on the forgettable side though. First up we have Ben who is the most petty one of the group. He whines a lot about how the world is unfair as his justification for what he is doing and lets just say that I wasn’t shedding any tears over here. The main villain is Botha and at least he’s tough. There’s just not much to say about him beyond the fact that his skills are quite impressive. At least he is actually able to give Will a fight which is always important. Then there’s his right hand woman Xia who is fairly tough and down to business.

The villains aren’t bad, they just don’t stand out. There isn’t much more to them beyond their desires for money and destruction. You won’t remember much about them by the time the film is over. In general that’s why this film will be known as more of a general action film. It follows all of the classic story beats and doesn’t make any mistakes with them but it’s also not trying to go beyond that.

The writing is good and the pacing is on point. The movie’s effects and backgrounds also just look good. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a floor where the ground is transparent though. That just seems like a bad idea. I don’t care how strong the glass is, it feels like you would fall through at any moment and I just couldn’t get behind that. In general I’ve never seen the appeal of being super high up though. I’m absolutely satisfied being close to the ground.

Overall, Skyscraper is a pretty good film. I’m not going to say that it’s great or anything like that but it certainly does the job and doesn’t leave you shaking your head. It’s just taking a very safe approach which is a valid way to go about this. I’d like to see it try to take the next step in a sequel though. Then it can ideally really begin to show what it’s got. Still, you’ll have a good time here as you just enjoy the atmosphere.

Overall 7/10

Tokyo Mew Mew Olé! Review


It’s time to talk about an absolutely brutal manga that is just awful on so many levels. Man this one was bad and I had a bad feeling about it right from the jump. The original Tokyo Mew Mews may not have been fantastic manga but they at least had a lot of fun moments and cool things happening at all times. This one? It’s trying its very best to be a nonstop reverse harem at all costs while destroying all of the characters in the process. Even having some serious fights was not enough to save this one.

So the plot starts out rather similar to the main series but in reverse. Shibuya is a rather shy guy who keeps to himself. Some think he’s cool in an aloof way while others just think he’s a jerk but he doesn’t care. Unfortunately, a mad scientist (The mother of his crush Anzu) ends up firing off a powerful energy blast that transforms 5 teenage guys into cat warriors. Shibuya is now the leader of this Mew Mew group and he has to try and hide this from the world or he will be a laughing stock.

The only way to get rid of these powers is to find a bunch of “Mew Aqua” crystals. Along the way he will also have to fight off powerful Chimera monsters and a villain group led by Deep Blue who seem to want to destroy the planet. Along the way Shibuya must now try to confess his feelings for Anzu. The tough part is that the other 4 guys are in love with her as well and the same is true for the 3 big villains. Anzu loves the attention from the 8 guys but the problem is that she is slowly falling for all of them as well. Can she choose…must she choose? She will have to handle this carefully.

The original Mew Mew series was a classy affair. The cat gimmick may have been a bit much but hey it was a classic magical girl show about fighting monsters. You had a wholesome romance with the nice guy and the “bad boy” trying his best to get the lead’s attention. The romance itself may have been super weak but the show as a whole was just classic. This series just feels desperate right off the jump. The whole series is about getting in as much shipping as possible and it’s absolutely nonstop.

The plot even curves around this for no reason. Let me give you an example here real quick. One aspect of this is how the Mew Mew formula not only turns you into a cat but it also affects your personality this time. Shibuya is forced to yell stuff like “Pleased to be of service”! and every time he tries to gag himself but it’s too late. By the end of the series he stops resisting but apparently it’s something that happens to all of the characters. Part of the transformation is a mental suggestion that forces you to strike up different poses and say crazy catchphrases. This is obviously not serving any point except to try and make the characters as embarrassed as possible. It’s not a good look.

Then there is the romance which is awful. As mentioned in the intro, everybody likes Anzu. They just can’t stop thinking about her and while it’s obvious that she will choose Shibuya in the end, did we need everyone to fall for her like this? It’s just really excessive but the absolute worst part of it is that Anzu gets her own feelings confused as well. If she was just being very stoic about it the whole time or patronizing that would help but when she actually starts to think that she likes the other guys as well then it becomes an issue.

The series could have easily tried to make Anzu better by being decisive but this was just here for the drama. At the end of the day the whole series is just here for a lot of shipping. You even have the guys showing off so much that they all start to be in awe at times. At one point they’re stranded at the desert and have to make some desperate crazy calls. The plot takes a backseat all of the time and so this ends up being a horrible manga. Every single moment is weaker than its original incarnation but not by a little, it’s by a lot. There is no reason to actually read this manga in the end. There’s just no replay value here and it feels like the worst possible way to continue the franchise. I’m glad the original show got a reboot so people can check that out instead.

So as you can see, I didn’t like Anzu as the main heroine. She’s just not decisive enough and gets kidnapped a whole lot. Anzu may have been brave to enter the villain base on her own at one point but she’s captured so effortlessly that it just makes the whole decision look bad. Shibuya is also bad as the main guy because he is way too timid. He also has no control over his cat form so he will suddenly get real serious and possessive, then back to normal. These massive mood swings don’t help his character in the slightest or help you see how Anzu could have fallen for him in the first place.

Yoyogi is the smart member of the group so expect him to be talking down to everyone all the time. It isn’t very impressive though considering that his abilities aren’t even above the others and intelligence barely matters in this series. You either land your attack and destroy the enemy or you don’t. There’s no room for big fancy plans or any of that stuff. This guy’s annoying all the way through and you know he has no shot at the romance either way. While you can’t have a team without a bunch of team members, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to this guy. There’s nothing interesting or endearing about him.

Ryusei is the youngest one of the group and he’s very headstrong as a result. Usually I like that kind of character but of course it’s more to show him as the naïve character who gets some feelings for Anzu but isn’t able to express himself. He can be really wild in his cat form as well and is often a liability. I think he could have been a decent character if handled right but of course the series was not going to handle anything right like that so it was game over right from the start.

Ayato is the rich member of the group who tries to be the mature guy who keeps everyone in line. Of course that doesn’t prevent him from falling for Anzu as well. He mainly tries to stay out of the race at least so he doesn’t complicate matters but of course it would have been even better if he could have just been a mentor figure. At least he can pull his weight more than some of the other characters and actually seems to understand the stakes. I can give him some reasonable props next to the other characters but wouldn’t say that I liked him much at all.

Finally we have Taichi who is the worst member by far. It’s not even close, the guy whines a lot and is super weak so it gets to his head and he starts to think about the dark side. C’mon now, you can’t be switching up this quickly. It’s a really bad look for him and he never really rebounds from this. It would be extremely difficult for anyone to make a comeback from that because once you’re a traitor then you’ve crossed a line that must not be crossed. Getting back from that is incredibly difficult to the point of being nearly impossible. This guy got off really easy if you ask me.

Then for the 3 Wiseman group: Latte, Chai, and Mocha, none of them were all that good. Latte was another guy obsessed with Anzu the whole time and he wanted her to love him but of course that wasn’t possible. It’s an awful motivation for a character as well. Then you have Chai and Mocha whose motivations were weak enough where they were also ready to quickly jump in and help the heroes out when things got rough. If you were a villain with a lot of convictions then that surely wouldn’t happen right? I like the title since the 3 Wisemen sounds impressive but there’s nothing particularly wise about them.

Additionally, they could have murdered the heroes so many times but kept choosing not to which was a big mistake. They’re so much stronger than the Mew Mew fighters that it’s scary. They would often win in a single blow but just let the heroes live because they can. That certainly came back to bite them later on. Then you have Dark Blue who has no conviction of her own here either.

She wants to effectively reset the world as humans have messed everything up. Okay that’s great but then all it takes is a few words for her to rethink everything? That felt way too fast if you ask me, there was just no compelling points brought up beyond the obvious. So that shouldn’t have been enough to turn Dark Blue. Not at all, it just serves to show us that she really didn’t have much drive before now.

This series probably has the most reverse fanservice I’ve seen in a minute as well. One look at the costumes and you can see how they aren’t practical at all. I’ve always said that a bad costume isn’t necessarily fanservice on its own. It’s all in how the camera zooms in or how the manga panels are meant to draw your attention. Well, here they are obviously meant to be fanservice bait. It’s a little hard to take seriously compared to traditional fanservice but I’ll still dock points in the same way because it’s yet another element that is taking priority over the plot.

When you stop to think about it, there is barely a plot here. None of the characters actively work to remove their powers after the opening chapters. The 3 Wisemen want to change the planet so they send one shot monsters out once in a while but don’t do much about that until the very ending either. Even the whole environmental theme is mostly removed from the original series. The villains own a company where they talk about going green as a front which was interesting but it’s ditched almost immediately. Going more into that could have been interesting but ultimately it didn’t happen. This series just feels like a waste all the way through.

The series works to have a bit of a body count by the end and a lot of emotional scenes but they ring hollow as you don’t like any of the characters by this point. The only consolation I can give the series is that the art was actually fairly good. There is a lot of detail put into each of the pages so I can appreciate that but at the same time a series cannot survive on art alone. A bad story will be just as bad even if the art is excellent. So the fight scenes look good at least but don’t do much to salvage the overall product.

At the end of the day, if the series wanted to be anywhere close to the original then it should have grabbed the stronger elements from the first title and built upon them. For example, the main girls there were all friends by the end and had solid banter. These guys? Well, they’re all jealous of each other because of Anzu so there’s a lot of fighting but it’s more personal and not as bantery like with the old cast. You don’t really have any scenes of the characters getting to know each other and having a good time because they have one track minds. The characters don’t have great development and again there are no big story beats or deeper themes to keep track of. It’s like the series just grabbed the concept but didn’t actually read the original series.

Overall, Tokyo Mew Mew Olé! is a really awful series. The romance here is probably some of the worst that I’ve seen since Black Bird and that one was historically bad. The whole series is really focused on the romance as everyone tries for Anzu but at the end of the day there isn’t any substance here for it. The series tries to bring you back every month with the shipping but it’s just not enough. I mean that’s probably one of the worst ways you can try to promote a series. By the time things get serious in the final chapters it is way too late. This is really a series that never needed to be made. The concept itself isn’t awful automatically of making the guys the magical fighters for a change but it feels like the series never intended to take its own premise seriously and that’s the most disappointing thing here. Definitely skip this series if you can, it’s not worth checking out.

Overall 1/10

Doron Dororon Review


I remember when Doron Dororon first came out that my first reaction was to shake my head at the name. It’s a little too hard to spell or remember and that started the series off on the wrong foot. Still, it somehow manages to keep on surviving over and over again to the point where I was rooting for it on the sidelines. I wanted it to succeed…no, I needed it to succeed! It carried the hopes and dreams of a whole new era of manga readers but alas it was not enough. After finishing the series, I can say that Jump made a mistake in cancelling it. Sure, it hadn’t really come into its own yet, but it was a fun series and I think it could have been pretty good. It’s just not the most memorable title.

The series takes place in a world where Mononoke are monsters that terrorize everyone. They’re beings of pure evil with a lot of fantastical abilities and the only ones that can stop them are the Samurai. “Samurai” are people who have been recruited because of their incredible abilities or synergy with the cursed energy to stop them. Dora wants to be a samurai because these creatures murdered his mother so he lives for revenge. It won’t be easy but he is prepared to do whatever it takes to win. Unfortunately there is one problem.

Dora has no magical energy. Yes, he is completely doomed to be unable to use it at all. It’s not something you can just develop either so that means he is really out of luck and the samurai will not allow him to join. He still tries to help when a girl is attacked by a monster though and that’s when he is saved by Kusanagi. This creature is a Mononoke as well but he wants to spread friendship and harmony to the world. He believes that making the world kinder is his mission and so Dora agrees to help him. Kusanagi can turn into any object including a sword and with Dora’s impressive physical abilities, they may end up being the strongest powerhouses out there!

So there’s a lot of elements that will sound really familiar here. It’s a classic demon hunting manga with a main character who can’t use the energies of the world. Fortunately with his new monster buddy he is already one of the stronger fighters. So it’s rather textbook stuff but this is the kind of story that I always enjoy so I can’t say that it’s really a bad thing. Put it this way, the series is trying to be like Black Clover which is one of the greatest titles of all time so I’m not sad about that. If it could be even half as good as Clover then we’re in for a treat.

I will say right off the bat that the manga’s biggest weakness is how forgettable it is. The art is good, the fights are good, and the story is good. It’s just not even trying to do anything different so you’ll just forget about it fairly quickly. For example, I write down the names of the various characters ahead of time when I’m reading a series that has already ended. This way I don’t have to look through various chapters in case I forget a name so it saves me a lot of time. In this case, even with the names I couldn’t place a few of the characters which is not good.

This is the kind of series that could really benefit from an anime because often times that is what helps make a title more memorable. Of course that’s also a decent reason not to make an anime because the manga should be able to hold its own. This is still a pretty solid manga but I can see why it was cancelled. Ultimately my advice to the series on a way it could have stayed alive would have been to not have expanded the cast as soon as it did. Keep things small for a while and that could have let things get built up naturally. Instead I think it was just a bit of character overload.

Also, this tends to happen a lot lately with the cancelled titles but a bunch of new characters appear at the very end as the series is ending. By then it’s just way too late for any of them to be all that memorable. I suppose the author may not have known that it was ending by then but that’s just unfortunate. Lets talk about some of the characters though.

First up was Dora who is the main character here. He’s a solid main character and he just wants to avenge his parents and stop all of the monsters. Always a good goal and he does well in living up to it. Kusanagi gradually helps Dora stop thinking about revenge all the time. It’s a classic character arc and I like Dora well enough. He’s not quite as ultra heroic as other leads since he finds it all to be a bit cheesy but at the end of the day he makes the right calls. I don’t get why he gets so embarrassed when Kusanagi is just talking about basic hero things though.

Kusanagi is not very good though. One of my main problems with him is that he is way too naïve. At one point we get a villain who shows up and used to be his friend but has obviously turned to the dark side. All it takes is a word or two and Kusanagi is willing to help him out. It’s great to be heroic but it’s never an excuse to be gullible as well. You have to be able to tell what is going on and stay out of trouble. Otherwise you’re just creating a lot more toruble for everyone instead of just resolving it on your own. That’s not a good look for any character. Kusanagi never really grew on me and his dynamic with Dora is definitely one of the weaker ones that I’ve seen.

Then we have the main heroine Yagyu but she falls into the Rukia trap a bit where she is technically a strong fighter but loses almost immediately to a random minion. From there she works on slowly becoming more of a hype character and regaining her honor. I do like her confidence even if it isn’t always properly placed. I think the series could have handled her character better but I still did like the character type they were going for. Down the road I’m sure she would have kept getting a lot of good fights.

Then you had Heisuke who was another one of the hype characters. He reminds me a lot of Levi as he’s on the shorter side and is one of those prodigy types. He tends to speak his mind and doesn’t get along with most of the characters but his skills speak for themselves. He’s a fun character and I appreciate that he could fight really well. This is one of those series where the heroes seem to have quite a lot of powerful fighters at their disposal which is definitely important.

Yet another hype character here was Naotora. She’s one of the strongest in the business, a prodigy, etc. Her main gimmick though is that she’s super shy and acts like a stalker as a result. She tends to try and follow Dora around all the time from a distance. She can fight so at least that explains why everyone tolerates her acting so weird all the time but it’s not a very endearing character trait. I can’t say that I ever became a big fan of hers.

Of course we can’t forget the first big villain in Hidehisa. He’s a fun fighter and once he got into his super form then he could really hold his own without any problem. I thought his fight with Heisuke was really good and was the first big definitive fight of the series. It was when the manga started to really live up to the hype with its action scenes and showed me the promise of what it could have ultimately turned out to be if it didn’t end so quickly.

The most annoying villain in the series has to be Dosan. Again, this guy isn’t as tactical or smart as he thinks he is so when the guy is tricking Kusanagi you can’t help but cringe a little. I haven’t seen a fighter look that obviously evil in a long time and yet the trick still worked. That’s just a bad look for the main monster and Dosan isn’t a super good fighter by the end of it all. Take away the tricks and that’s it for him so the quicker he was out the better.

There’s a scientist named Asahi but there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to her character. She’s someone who probably would have benefited from the series being a whole lot longer. She can help examine monsters and provide equipment but that’s about it. She’s always pestering Yagyu and is like Kuroko from Index, but without abilities to fight with, you know that she is doomed from the start. If you can’t fight in an action manga then you’re going to be in for a tough time.

As for the story, the first 11 chapters is basically the pre arc which leads to Dora having to confront the monster that murdered his mother. So you get all of the character introductions and Dora beats up his first monsters. I will say that I thought the series moved with good pacing here. He fights off quite a few monsters and this helps readers get a chance to be acquainted with the series before moving on to the big plots. So I wouldn’t say the series made any mistakes by this point. The approach actually made a whole lot of sense. Then the big fight at the end as we got our first humanoid villain was a blast. It was fairly high scale for the series and was a good preview of what we could expect down the road.

As Dora trains to get stronger we meet up with Toda who used to get beaten up by Dora all the time. He’s a nice enough character and this way we finally got another good ally who wasn’t already one of the big shots in the organization. He seems to be meant as Dora’s rival. I’d say it doesn’t work perfectly since it feels like Dora has already surpassed him by the time they meet up but Toda’s still cool enough. I can’t say that I had any real major issues with the guy.

The next arc was the first real serious one for the heroes I’d say. We get to meet the villain group led by Kanbei and they decide to lure the samurai into a trap. Fortunately the squad consists of Dora, Toda, some scrubs, and Heisuke. They’re ready to take on these villains and it’s a good way for Dora to start improving his technique and for all of the fighters to get a little stronger. It’s a very classic kind of arc with the heroes splitting up to fight their opponents. One thing that was a bit different was Heisuke fighting 3 on 1. It reminded me of Gojo in Shibuya.

This was probably the series at its peak with a lot of big fights and all so it was hard to recapture that hype in the same way later on. Still, by this point you had to assume that people were really on board with the series. The first of the villains was Yoshihime and she is one of those villains who is rarely serious. She’s super sinister but does her murdering with a smile. In a way that makes her one of the cruelest fighters right? I thought Yoshihime was okay and a fairly decent villain.

Then you have Tameemon who was one of the stronger ones but he’s not very smart. We’ve all seen the type before. It works well for when the hero is still inexperienced as he has to try and dodge while getting stronger and landing a good attack. It was a good team up fight without a doubt and one of the better fights in the series. Finally there was Kanbei as the tactical leader. He is good with plans and has a solid amount of ability but I can’t say he was super solid for me. This kind of strategic villain who can’t usually fight as well as the others is always up for a tough time. He’s not bad or anything by any means but he wasn’t going to win a championship anytime soon. He does appear a lot though so there is plenty of time for you to become a fan as you read through. Being the leader by itself is a pretty good role if you think about it.

After that we get to the weakest arc with Naotora. Her gimmick just isn’t super entertaining so a whole arc of fighting with her just couldn’t match up to the others. There is still a lot of action so it’s not like it’s a bad arc or anything but it certainly wasn’t going to make any waves for the series. Of course we also had the worst villain for this arc so you could say the series hit a bit of a speedbump. It’s relative of course since it’s not like it was a big drop but if fans started to weaken on the series then I would have guessed this would be the reason why.

Now we enter the final arc where the heroes get ready to fight Hanzo. So Hanzo is the most powerful villain out there and he’s so good that if you defeat him the Momonoke will vanish. It’s clear by this point that the author was speeding things along so it’s safe to say that the series had already been cancelled. That didn’t stop him from introducing a bunch of new characters as the senior fighters among the samurai. They are fun with some hype characters like Rui and Namishiro. They just didn’t get to do enough to really make a name for themselves yet. For example, Rui is the sassy kind of character who is always a lot of fun but she barely gets a full fight before the series is over. Likewise Namishiro is a very determined character who gets the job done and has a hype fight but the series is over by then.

It’s a shame that the more interesting characters were the final ones rather than the early ones. If we had these guys from the start then that would have been a whole lot of fun. Still, the final arc gives us a lot of fight scenes and Hanzo makes for a good villain. In fact I would say he was the best villain easily. He just wants to get super strong as his gimmick. It’s not the most impressive motivation to be sure but it’s a start and I still like that as a goal. It’s very direct and to the point.

So that basically wraps up the series. If you’re looking for a classic action story then this should still be a good title for you to check out. It’s not doing much different or unique all the way through but it’s still a really fun watch. I had a good time with it at least. It could have been better and I think it deserved the chance to do so. With another arc or two perhaps it would have finally been able to break out into its own. It would have solved the issue of the series being a little on the forgettable side. Even my advice to the series on how to not be cancelled wasn’t very extensive because I didn’t think it made a lot of mistakes.

I guess cutting out the stalker plot would have been a good idea but that’s about it. It had a lot of nonstop action and the training arc was brief at only 2-3 chapters so it’s not like it slowed down the pacing much. I also thought that the art was pretty good. Not great or anything but it was easy to follow the action at all times without getting confused. The fundamentals of the manga were sound. It just needed better characters and it could have been great off the bat. Perhaps the main dynamic doomed it since Kusanagi was a very weak character and you usually want your main duo to be great.

Overall, Doron Dororon is a pretty good series and I would recommend checking it out. It may be very generic and nothing that you haven’t seen before but it still does justice to the classic tropes. I’m always up for more combat manga after all and the series tried hard. That’s why it was able to last over 30 chapters. It’s still a decent run for a cancelled title and not everything can be the next success. I doubt we’ll see this series get a revival so this will have to be the end of it. It does have a real ending though so even if it was rushed, you’ll feel like you got the whole conclusion here. We’ll see if the next cancelled title can keep up with this one.

Overall 7/10

Tiger & Bunny Review


Now that I’ve reviewed the show, it’s time to look at the Tiger & Bunny manga. It’s fairly similar to the show but end a bit sooner and so it instead expands on the Jake arc. Some characters also get a bigger role like Cyclone and his old friend. All in all, you should like it about as well in terms of story as the show. The changes hold up and I wouldn’t say either version is weaker there. What helps the manga though is that the art is better than the show’s animation. I’m not saying that the art is amazing or anything like that as it can still feel like a tie-in at times and the suits tend to look the same but it’s easy enough to follow the action scenes. In the end, it works as a bit of an advantage compared to the show.

In case you haven’t seen the show though, here’s the general plot. We now live in a society where heroes are a very hot commodity. Most people are born with some level of super powers. They aren’t very strong but as a result you have a lot of people running around and using their powers for good and evil. There is a TV media company which thrives on this as they recruited various heroes to go around saving the day. You get points based on the civilians you save and other heroic conquests.

Tiger is an old school hero who believes that a true hero should defend the innocent and stop criminals. Not because of some kind of cash award or prestige but because it’s the right thing to do. This is definitely not the common mindset nowadays and Tiger is getting old so the bosses get him a partner. He’ll now be working with Bunny, a up and coming hero who has the same power set as Tiger. They both get super strength and speed for a limited time but it seems to be coincidental that they have the same power. They don’t really get along at all as their personalities are completely different but they will have to try and make it work. Bunny is haunted by the murder of his parents and Tiger needs to try and make some time to go and visit his daughter every once in a while. Can they really find time to also do their hero work while accomplishing their objective?

I always like the superhero stories so that was already a good point for this title. Tiger & Bunny isn’t trying to do anything super fancy with the plot, it’s just really embracing the heroics of the whole thing. As the series goes on Tiger gets Bunny to really be heroic as well. I wouldn’t say Bunny was a villain or anything but he was definitely obsessed with revenge and he had to be a top ranking hero in order to find out who the murderer was. So as a result he had to “play ball” and listen to the execs even when it wasn’t the most heroic thing to do. Tiger gradually gets Bunny to be just as headstrong as he is in saving people.

The two really have a solid dynamic going on the whole time. Tiger does test his partner by calling him Bunny a lot (His real name is Barnaby and he can’t stand the animal nickname) but at the end of the day it shows how they’re close. Tiger may be falling off in terms of power level a bit but he’s definitely a great team player and I could see him leading the heroes some day. He has a knack for always being in the right place at the right time and knows what each hero needs to hear in order to get back into the zone. Also, until his powers completely fall off, he is still stronger than the rest of the heroes by far so it’s still important to recognize that he’s a power hitter here.

Tiger just makes for a really solid main character. I also like Bunny quite a lot. His serious plot is always interesting to read and he’s a good foil to Tiger’s character. The series wouldn’t be the same without these two at the top. As with the show, there isn’t a lot of time for the other heroes but the series does its best to give them each at least one big moment. For example, Rock Bison actually gets a solid moment against Jake here. He holds off the villains long enough for Tiger to escape and even comes close to death at one point.

Rock actually got to show off his super strength which was really great because otherwise it felt like his reputation was just for show the whole time. I was pleased with this. Fire Emblem is still a character that can’t really be saved. I felt like the manga did reduce his screen time a bit though and he got to mess with Rock less but it still happens and each scene is still awful. I don’t know how this guy managed to become a pro hero.

Sky High doesn’t do a ton here but he is the top ranked hero so you have to give him his props. I still think his character holds a lot of untapped potential if the series ever wants to get into it. After all he’s a nice guy with good powers. That’s already some really solid stepping stones into being a major character with a full plot to himself right? Dragon Kid has the whole plot with her parents and gets to actively help in the Blue Angel plot where they are babysitting a kid. That mini arc was fun enough and they each got to have a decent role. Blue Angel doesn’t stand out a whole lot as the heroine but her plot of having to choose between being a singer or a hero is decent. I can also totally understand why the parents would be concerned about her being a hero since it is fairly dangerous.

Now for Origami Cyclone, he gets a fairly big role like in the show. Additionally we actually get a little more to this in the manga as his friend Edward get a full redemption arc. While in the show he was mostly just a one off character to show Cyclone the darker path, here we get a lot more of his inner thoughts and goals. It was nice to see because I did like Edward back when he was a full hero. He just had a really rough break and it ended up completely destroying him. So at least this way there is still something of him left to keep on going. Then for Cyclone, I think this should be a good boost to his confidence as well.

I’d like Edward to become a main character for a future installment. It’s perfect if you ask me since the series needs another big hero. This guy could really hold his own in that role. The odds may not be amazing but I think it would be a really good option for the series to try and pull off. He’s a lot more interesting than the next generation cadets with their weak powers. Edward has at least proven himself in a real fight already.

As for the Jake arc, it’s definitely a solid one through and through. It’s fun to see him basically taking on the entire group of heroes tournament style. That’s a good way to not only test your own abilities but to also put the world on notice. It’s a lot easier to scare the world into thinking they can’t fight back against you if you take out all of their heroes first. After all, they were counting on the heroes to protect them so this is sort of like a wakeup call. Jake may not have been the most interesting villain but his powers were very dangerous and so he worked as an obstacle.

His sidekick Kriem was also good and stayed loyal to her duties throughout the series. Lunatic gets a bit of a smaller role here than in the anime or at leas it felt that way but he’s still the standout character. He’s doing his best to punish the villains for good and remove any heroes who are only in it for the fame and glory. He’s the kind of villain that’s easy to root for because he has an honor code and his own view of justice. It’s better than having a villain who is aimless.

It’s also easy to see why this kind of villain tends to be really popular. After all, he is making the world a safer place. Certainly in an unethical way which is why he has to be stopped but put yourself in the shoes of the average joe in this world. People with powers are always going around and throwing their weight but at the end of the day when someone breaks out of jail, you’re the one who feels the fear and takes in the damage. So when the villains are being destroyed, you know that you’re safer than you were before.

Objectively there are less murderers running around now so your quality of life improves. It’s why these villains are tough to stop as well since public opinion can quickly get behind them. There’s still a whole lot they can do with the Lunatic plot so I hope that continues. As it is, the world building was already really on point. This is the kind of title that could become a really big franchise if it wanted to.

I imagine most people who read the manga will have already watched the show but either way this stands up on its own. It may not cover everything but the series still did a good job of getting all of the critical moment. You’ll be able to follow the story all the way through. Hopefully they make the suits a little more different for a sequel though so it’s easier to follow each individual action. There’s never any real good reason for having multiple suits look the same. It’s the only real issue you can have with the Ultraman manga at times and at least there you could make the case that it’s because they all have designated costumes due to the crossover nature of the manga.

Overall, Tiger & Bunny is a fun manga adventure. It doesn’t go as far as the anime does but if you’re a manga only fan I would still say that the ending is fairly satisfying. Are there still open plot points? Yes, but what superhero story doesn’t have more things lined up for the future? The idea is that the adventure will always continue and from that point of view I thought it all worked out really nicely. You won’t regret checking this one out as it’s just a fun read.

Overall 7/10

Tiger & Bunny Review


Tiger & Bunny is a show I heard a lot about back in the day. It seemed to get big for a while before vanishing but with a recent season 2, the franchise is still around. I like the concept of the show and you really can’t go wrong with superheroes. I think this really could have become a big franchise in its own right but unfortunately the show just felt really low budget most of the time. Nothing’s all that streamlined and I would also say the cast is on the weaker side. The premise itself is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here. The show will have moments that are really solid but it’s not often enough to really keep this one at the top.

The show starts by introducing us to Tiger. The guy is a hero veteran at this point but the fact of the matter is that he’s growing old. People don’t find him cool anymore and that’s a big deal in this world. See, heroes have basically become professional advertisers. You earn points by saving people and looking cool while doing it. Tiger believes that heroes should do the right thing because that’s what being a hero is all about but such values have vanished over time. Now the agency is pairing him up with Bunny, the coolest young hero around. The two don’t get along at all but will they be able to put this aside to save the day?

So lets talk about some of the things the show did well first. I think it immediately does a lot of good world building in very direct ways with the hero agencies but also in subtle ways as you see nonstop product placement everywhere. Being a hero has really become just like being a movie star and naturally some resent this while others fully embrace it. Part of why Lunatic’s plotline is so good is because it’s based on this but more on that later. The world feels big even if it could have used more heroes at the main spot. You at least get the idea that there are more heroes like this around the world.

The power ceiling is also fairly low as even the strongest heroes aren’t very powerful so it’s a good way to explain how civilians aren’t always getting into trouble and all. The few that do get really powerful tend to become villains anyway so it’s really good that not everybody is super strong. In general the plots are solid too. The villains have interesting motives and there’s a mystery throughout the series that will keep you alert as well. I would have liked a little more commentary on how heroes are for show now and maybe a deeper arc on that but they could definitely tackle this in a future story.

One of the shakier parts of the series is the animation though. I dare say it comes close to just being flat out bad most of the time. The absolute best moments in the show can look decent but this is very much a low budget show. I would say some Dragon Ball Heroes episodes have about as much fluid movement which isn’t a great look since that’s a low budget online series. The CGI is really rough and even the hand drawn parts aren’t all that great. I’m hoping the budget is a lot higher for the sequel.

The music also isn’t particularly memorable. The intro is very weak and I can’t really remember any of the battle tunes so that’s not a good thing either. In the end the series was really caught lacking on all of the technical elements. A good story still helps it stay above water but it’s a much tougher fight than it otherwise should have been. You’d think that a story about superheroes would always look and sound amazing!

Now lets get into the show. The first few episodes are the pre arc so they help to get the personalities developed for Tiger, Bunny, and some of the other heroes like Blue Rose. So the fights are more on the basic side against minions who don’t really stand a chance but it’s always good to have the interactions here. Tiger & Bunny always have some good banter with each other which is important because a good portion of the show revolves around that. If their dynamic was no good then the show would have absolutely been doomed.

By this point I was already a big fan of Bunny and he would end up being the best hero in the show. He has a fairly serious plot as he has to avenge his parents’ death. This ends up being a big plot for the entire show and beyond so don’t expect the answers to come too quickly. Either way this was always the most engaging plot in the show though. Each clue would lead into another one and it also explains why Bunny is always so serious. He’s trying to be a great hero because it will open more doors and increase his influence so he can find the villains.

He can also back up his tough talk like when he saves Tiger several times. The guy has a cool air about him even if his rage can sometimes cause him to be a little too emotional. I’m usually on his side when he disagrees with Tiger though. There’s one key scene near the end of the show where Tiger doesn’t trust Bunny to make the right call and it’s clear that Bunny took that personally. Because the whole series Tiger was talking about trust and Bunny started to buy into it so that was a shame. It can be hard for the characters to be on the same page.

As for Tiger, part of why he wasn’t higher for me is because it feels like he never lives up to his tough talk. There are a lot of circumstances in the show that help make sure he is never on top but no matter how tough Tiger talks, it always feels like he is one step behind. He had to get saved in the very first episode after all and something similar happens at the end. I know that he’s getting old and it happens to everyone but he’s not quite tough enough to consider himself as a bigshot. It’s great that he has ideals and confidence but he needs to train a whole lot more.

Tiger’s a good guy but that doesn’t automatically make him a great hero. That said, most of the heroes here aren’t very good at all so that’s not a good bar. One of the only other heroes with a big character arc and all is Blue Rose. She is a hero but really wants to be a singer and is considering leaving the business. It’s tough though as her parents don’t fully support the career and are always worried about her. She’s also just not sure if she can pull it off which is another thing to consider. She has ice powers which are handy but they are not very powerful.

Again, part of the way the universe is built up is that everyone is fairly weak so it’s not like it’s just her but half the time she has to run off when the villains show up. It’s part of her hero image but it doesn’t really help her case. She still has more to do than Dragon Kid though. Dragon Kid’s main character dilemma here is that everyone treats her like a kid. Well…she kind of is a kid. Her parents are actually rather supportive but she finds this embarrassing and Tiger helps her to realize that this is actually a good thing and they’re looking out for her. It’s a nice enough plotline.

Sky High is the number 1 hero but it’s easy to forget that because he never looks all that impressive. He can fly and can create an energy blast of sorts but I wouldn’t say that it’s super impressive. In fact, the only time he uses it, it doesn’t work. I like that he always tries to look on the bright side and he’s a nice guy but he’s just not given enough to do. I think that you could really do some interesting things with his character. At best you have something that could almost be considered a romance plot while he’s dog walking but even then I would say it’s a bit of a stretch to say that. It’s not really big enough to call a full plot like that.

Then we have Fire Emblem, the worst hero out of the bunch and it’s unfortunate since he’s the fire themed hero. Usually those are my favorite but his character is basically the same as Puri Puri Prisoner. He’s not as extreme to the point of being an actual villain like that guy but he gets rather close with how he’s always harassing Rock Bison. Fire Emblem has no understanding of personal space and can’t stay serious long enough to ever contribute. His whole gimmick is that he uses fire but Lunatic is stronger in that element and then later on some random machines can use better fire.

Fire Emblem is never given any respect as the series goes on and he’s basically a wasted character. He’s not as bad as characters like Master Roshi or Mineta but man does he make it closer than it should be. Any scene with him is usually supremely annoying. On the other hand, I’m also not a fan of Rock Bison. Make no mistake, Fire Emblem is alone at the bottom but Rock needs to stand up for himself more. Don’t just let Fire Emblem get away with messing with him the whole time.

Rock Bison also gets no definitive moments even though he is supposed to be the power hitter here. At least in the manga he is given a key scene where he really gets to show his stuff but that doesn’t happen in the anime. Then you have Origami Cyclone and I would say that his character arc is actually fairly good. He is one of those heroes who is always in the background and isn’t too strong. Over the years he has really let that get to him so he has virtually no confidence anymore. He has resigned himself to the fate of just being a hero who is used for advertisement rather than saving the day and making a name for himself. Definitely not the kind of track record you want to have for yourself.

So in his mini arc he gets to learn about really being a hero and I thought that was solid. He also had a good backstory involving his friend Edward. I actually thought the whole thing was extremely harsh for that kid. He was trying to use his powers to stop an armed robbery and came close. Unfortunately things didn’t go very well and so he was locked up. But why locked up for so long? It just felt like a harsh punishment considering the circumstances so things better be even harder on the villains. It’s easy to see why Edward got jaded after that although I would say it was still a fairly weak motivation for turning completely evil though. Being a little upset? Sure that’s reasonable, but turning evil? I’m not so sure about that. I liked him in the flashback too.

Now the story starts to resume for real with Bunny finding a lead on the people who murdered his parents. The killer may have been from the terrorist group known as Oruboros and now criminals are being burned alive by someone with blue flames. This seems to tie into Bunny’s memories so this case is extra personal to him. Tiger has to try and stop Bunny from going too far but when they are face to face with Lunatic, that’ll be difficult. Lunatic believes that the current heroes are a joke and not decisive enough with the villains. He believes that true justice is to put these criminals away for good. Not in a jail, but 6 feet under and it’s difficult to stop him since his flames are so powerful.

We then get to what I’d consider to be the big arc of the series. A metahuman named Jake has basically captured the entire island in the name of Oruboros thanks to robots and bombs everywhere. The heroes are basically hopeless since they couldn’t beat the robots normally anyway. It’s all up to Tiger & Bunny as always but the difficult part is that they have been getting absolutely dominated whenever they try to fight Jake. They will have to find a way around that quick or it’s all over.

This arc had a lot of danger to it and was definitely a blast so I was on board the whole time. Jake was shown to be an incredibly powerful villain and he lived up to the hype. The guy was basically able to take all of the heroes on at the same time. Between his natural barrier type abilities which he could use for strength and his reaction times plus his true ability, the guy was virtually invincible to the point where it’s hard to see how you could beat him. Yet I would say that the show did a good job of making it believable. I was able to buy into the teamwork and coordination that the team used against Jake.

As a villain Jake’s not super interesting and his goals are weak at best but I did like his powers which helped the character as a whole go up. He’s really one of those completely chaotic villains who just likes to see the world burn. His right hand woman Kriem was very loyal. She was always by his side and her ability to manipulate the dolls using hair was really good. It was a versatile ability with a whole lot of uses so it’s hard to go up against that one. Even at the very end of her journey she was still doing her best to mess with the heroes and support Jake so I had to give her props there.

After that we start a plot that lasts until the end of the series which is that Tiger’s powers are starting to go away for some reason. Apparently this can just happen when you grow older and once it starts there is no way to stop it. The good part is that temporarily you may even get a quick power boost but the length of time you can use the power begins to shrink and shrink. Tiger’s powers are already on a time basis so losing any time is really bad for him. Now this makes him start to think about retirement but he decides to keep this a secret.

His family has long wanted him to be at home more so it’s a plus on that as well. The problem is that Bunny is also thinking about retirement. He feels no closer to solving his parents’ murder at this point and he can’t even trust his memories as the face of the killer keeps on changing. He just can’t trust himself at this point so he needs some down time. Bringing this all to a head is the fact that people around the city have suddenly forgotten about Tiger and think he’s a villain now. Can Tiger clear his name or is it game over for his days as a hero?

It was nice to see the family get more of a role I suppose. Tiger’s daughter Kaede was always hoping to spend time with him but the life of a hero is tough so most times it just wouldn’t work out. Now that she started developing powers of her own, that just made it even more important to have Tiger there at the ready. As a character Kaede is okay but there is just a limit on how good she can be while still just being a kid. You can’t expect any big fight scenes out of her or anything like that but she finds a way to help out in the climax a bit.

As for the world against Tiger plot, it basically boils down to one character having an advanced hypnosis ability. It’s a pretty interesting plot and I liked it but I also had to suspend some disbelief here. The guy isn’t altering reality or anything so all physical evidence of Tiger is still around. It felt a bit iffy that nobody would have noticed the contradictions in time. While it’s true that Tiger kept his secret identity from most of the cast, they should still be able to piece things together like when Tiger used his superpowers. It doesn’t make any of the heroes look great when they still refuse to help him out or at least listen to reason. They just jump into combat so quickly that it can be a bit discouraging if you were hoping that they would be able to do something here.

As for the lead villain himself, well I appreciated how the villain executed his plan. I may not be a big fan of the guy but the plot does revolve around some twists and he did have to put in a lot of work to get this plan all figured out. So he deserves some credit here and it also made some other scenes fun in hindsight. Lets just say when Jake took a bunch of people hostage a while back, the lineup was a little more stacked than he ever could have imagined. While Jake could probably beat all of the other villains in a fight since his powers are so good, it would have been interesting to see them mix it up.

It’s probably about time that we talk about Lunatic a bit now. So he has a sob story of course which is what set him down the dangerous path of evil. His father was abusive and kept on getting worse until Lunatic was able to awaken his flame abilities to stop the guy. From there on he realizes that heroes can’t be trusted (His father was a hero) and sometimes just locking up a prisoner isn’t enough. You have to destroy them all and that’s exactly what he did. You can’t accuse Lunatic of doing things halfway and a character deciding to be the judge, jury, and executioner is always a fun plot.

As a villain it is already a fairly strong motivation and it also means he has an honor code. That’s big in a villain because it already starts you off on the right foot with me. Lunatic is a villain through and through but he’s one who believes in his ideals and doesn’t run away from them when the going gets tough. That is important because as a villain you have to be consistent. His costume was also pretty interesting and it was just great whenever he would appear. The guy would function as a wild card when other villains took the stage and he would also get the focus sometimes. He is definitely a villain who should continue to the next season.

Okay it’s time to go into quick spoiler territory so skip these next two paragraphs if you haven’t watched the show yet. Tiger & Bunny has quite a few twist after all and it’s better that you don’t know them before watching. Especially because this is a very original twist that I did not expect was going to happen at all. All right so hope you’ve skipped by now because here we go. So throughout the series we have Tiger hyping up Mr. Legend because that guy used to be the best hero ever. He’s dead now but he was a symbol of hope.

Mr. Legend didn’t have super fancy powers or anything and yet he was able to defeat every enemy he came across and did it with a smile. He’s basically the Superman/All Might of this series, a living legend. Well, it turns out that he was Lunatic’s father. Yes, Mr. Legend may have started out heroic but then he started losing his powers which made him bitter and he turned to alcohol. Along the way he became a full villain but the public never knew this as he stuck to terrorizing his family.

This twist really just came out of nowhere because you just don’t suspect a thing until it happens. It really helps to give Lunatic a lot of ammo on why he turned against heroes. Even more than the fact that a lot of heroes are just in it for the publicity, now you had a hero who was actually crazy and nobody ever came to his aid. A hero can’t be everywhere but this was enough to help Lunatic mold his philosophy. It’s also a twist I can’t really recall happening before to the biggest hero so that was effective. Of course it did mean that Mr. Legend dropped significantly as he became one of my least favorite characters in the series but the show didn’t pull any punches here.

Overall, the story had a lot of interesting parts to it. There are some elements that the show probably should have gone into a bit deeper but the ending of the show leaves a ton of room for extra stories and sequels. Evidently the writers agreed with me since this does continue so there is still a lot that you can do with this title. I do hope that the animation and soundtrack improve though. The writing/plot shouldn’t have to try and carry the entire show this hard without any backup. I also think it would be easier to try and get this more mainstream if it stood out more. Season 2’s goals should be to try and get some more likable characters in here as well. Right now Tiger & Bunny are the only two really solid heroes here. Sky High, Blue Rose, and Dragon Kid are okay but they aren’t strong enough to really be big assets here. We need another heavy hitter so I’m hoping we can get that.

Overall 6/10

The Amazing Colossal Man Review


It’s time for a creature feature film of sorts even though there isn’t actually a Kaiju here. The movie just falls into that kind of style and it works well. The movie’s very low key and slowly builds towards the end but so long as you’re fine with not really seeing the Colossal Man get any action for a while then you’re going to be in for a good time here.

The movie starts with Glenn and the rest of the army awaiting a big army test. They’re testing a powerful bomb/weapon so nobody is to get close. Unfortunately, Glenn notices that there are some civilians in the line of fire after a plane goes down so he dashes over but gets hit by the radiation. This causes Glenn to start growing to an incredible size. The plus is that this heals all of his burns like a sort of regeneration but the downside is that his heart isn’t growing fast enough and he’s also turning insane. Is there any way to save Glenn or is this game over for him?

His fiancé Carol tries her best to help Glenn out but the main issue in the film is that there isn’t really a way out. There is seemingly no cure that will work in time and in the meanwhile Glenn is in constant pain. I think that’s part of what makes this one of the roughest trials for a lead here. It’s a pretty hopeless situation even if he wasn’t going crazy. Of course if he could have helped them that would be great but he lasted a while before cracking and it wasn’t really doing much.

I can’t say that I liked Glenn much by the end though. Even if turning giant was part of the issue, it would have been good if he could have stayed strong. Maybe have the government start acting shady which is what gets him to start being a little paranoid and you go from there. It would definitely help him out as a main character and make him more sympathetic towards the end.

There are two main adults on the government side in Paul and Eric. They try to help manage the Glenn situation but I wouldn’t say they do a terrific job. Part of why Glenn cracks is because nobody is really telling him much. Sure, they do tell him stuff like they’re looking into the issue and all that but nothing concrete. After a while it’s clear to him that they’re leading him on and I don’t think he’s totally wrong about that. Any cure would be a longshot and might not even make it in time.

I also think using a circus tent as a base probably wasn’t the best idea to his already damaged psyche. Surely there could have been other large areas to use that wouldn’t have been quite as insulting to the guy. If the film could have used any extra boost though, it’s that I wouldn’t have minded seeing the Colossal Man destroy more buildings and such. The actual destruction is kept fairly minimal probably so the film wouldn’t make Glenn seem too irredeemable.

This is also probably the kind of film that would be more difficult to execute in a modern setting. As the film is low key it can only really work with the dialogue being up to par. Of course a modern film would likely add a lot of action which would make the point moot as that’s another way to succeed but if you’re going to do this through pure dialogue then you need the old way of speaking like in this film. Then with that you’re all set for action.

Of course a modern element that could work would be for Carol to have a more active role in the story. Something beyond just walking around and asking for questions about Glenn. Not that she didn’t do a good job with this but it’s still a more passive role as opposed to her knocking out some guards to find him or something like that. I suppose it’s nice that the government wasn’t evil in the end this time though.

I absolutely would not want the job of feeding the Colossal Man though. I was even a bit surprised that the guy escaped with his life since it really seemed like he could be squashed at any second. Glenn was definitely not playing around by this point and was pretty much all gone. The ending underscores why he was ultimately not a huge thread though. At the end of the day unless you’re bullet proof then there is only so much damage that you can pull off. In a way the government could have stopped him at any time and you the viewer knows it.

Overall, The Amazing Colossal Man is a pretty good film. I wouldn’t call it amazing or anything but it gets the job done and follows the classic formula of a creature feature. In fact it’s so direct that there isn’t a whole lot to discuss compared to other films. You could probably guess most of the story beats just from the title without even watching the film. The writing is solid and the character cast is good which makes for a solid combo. The movie goes by quickly and has a good amount of replay value. You’ll definitely want to go into this expecting more of a drama film than an action one but as long as you go in with that mindset then you’ll be all set.

Overall 7/10

Saint Seiya: Meiou Iden – Dark Wing


A pretty solid take on the classic Saint Seiya mythos. I like that it’s a very different look at the series while already being a lot of fun. I’ve got high hopes for this series so we’ll see if it can live up to this. I’ll have a review up for the series as soon as it ends.

Overall 8/10

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Review


This was always one of the most well known Star Wars games. It’s pretty much a living legend and for good reason as it is a very detailed action RPG with a ton of mechanics and a detailed story. I would say it lives up to the hype as I had a blast with it. Get ready for a very difficult final level though, the more you train the better.

The game starts off by introducing us to the main character who has amnesia and is aboard a republic ship that is crashing for some reason. He manages to escape with Carth, a reputable republic soldier. They end up rescuing a Jedi Warrior known as Bastila and the three of them have a very uneasy alliance. The main objective is to stop the Sith and to do that they need to find out how the villains have amassed such an unending army. There has to be foul play at work here but finding the source of that won’t be easy. The only clue they have to go on is something called the Star Forge but what that is remains a mystery.

Right away one of the things I enjoyed about the game is all of the dialogue options. You can constantly act like a jerk, take the nice guy approach, or just go for pure chaos. The dialogue options also have a big impact on the game itself so it’s not like you’re just fluffing out the game length. I ended up not getting to recruit two members to the team because I didn’t say the right things. The ending was also very different because of the route I went. It helps to make the whole experience feel a lot more authentic to me.

The story here is also very long so you can expect to be playing this game for a long while. There is a lot of time for the characters to develop and there are tons of side quests and extra content to play. For the most part I stuck to the main story beats but you could easily add several hours onto the play time if you want to go and explore. It can also be useful for EXP as this is one game where it’s not so easy to grind. Most worlds don’t allow enemies to respawn once you defeat them so you will be stuck after you have defeated them all. I recommend beating as many enemies as you can.

The gameplay is pretty much that of an auto battler where you keep changing the moves as they fight. Think of it like you’re the head coach and the fighters have to do whatever you tell them. I would have liked to actually do the battling myself so that part of the gameplay can be a little weak. The whole “Let the A.I. decide what to do” angle usually isn’t really my thing. That said, I would say the game has a good amount of polish to it so it works out well enough. There is definitely a whole lot of depth to this system as well.

Whenever you level up you get to decide which stats and skills to increase. It’s a bit overwhelming with the amount of options so usually I would do the auto level and just let the computer decide. This can make the end of the game even more difficult so it may be worth researching what the optimal build is. Of course it can be fun to just go with your gut so choose the option that seems like it will be the most enjoyable and you can’t go wrong there.

The graphics really hold up here. I like the designs of the levels and characters. Then the actual combat looks good too and it’s all got a very distinctive style to it. It really holds up while playing this port. I also liked the soundtrack well enough although it doesn’t stand out as it’s mainly the kind of Star Wars themes you’d expect to hear. Perhaps they are iconic but at this point you’ve really heard them all before.

The character cast is one of the biggest strengths here. The main character gets a lot of development and of course because you can decide how he develops then that makes the whole game more interesting too. In fact, your choices even determine how you will fight the final boss which is massive. I had to break out all of the cheese strategies for him including using some rather villainous tactics. Look, this guy was going to keep regenerating all of his health over and over so I had to put a top to that. I succeeded and then ran away a while to regain my strength. The final boss ended up being really long but I won in the end so that’s what counts right?

The game also has some quality of life features that I would highly recommend using. For starters you can save the game anywhere. I highly advise having several backup slots at different points so you don’t get stuck. There is one game breaking bug after all which I got trapped in but fortunately I had a backup save just a few minutes away. In one of the final temples just save a lot because the glitch room is the one where there are two light towers. I can’t say I remember the exact planet though so just keep your guard up.

Then for the final boss, don’t be afraid to just run a lot. It may take a while but you’ll win in the end and that’s what counts. The Star Forge itself is incredibly difficult but one thing you should know is that the enemies actually aren’t endless. After a bunch of waves they do finish so just heal up and save between waves. Eventually you will beat them and can move forward. It had to be one of the most challenging final areas I’ve played through in a long while so it felt nice knocking that one out.

As for the other characters, Carth was one of the big ones. I like how he can’t really trust anyone and always seems like he’s about to pick a fight. The guy may not use the Force but he can defend himself and knows how to fight. He was responsible for a lot of the great banter along with Bastila. Bastila is a Jedi who is very by the books so naturally she tends to have a lot of disagreements with the main character since I tend to be more on the impulsive side. I would say the script was always at its best when these 3 were fighting.

Then you also had characters like Canderous the Mandalorian who naturally didn’t get along with Carth due to their respective backstories. Malak also made for a good villain. He perhaps gets a little overshadowed by some of the heroes but he was a very imposing presence all the same. There are a lot of other characters who get big roles here so you’ll want to play the game to see them. The game is also long enough where you really feel like you’ve gone on a full adventure by the end of it.

Overall, This is a great Star Wars game that you don’t want to miss out on. You feel like you were watching a movie here and this could really be adapted for the big screen. It was definitely a lot of fun playing it on the Switch and I can also confirm that it’s the hardest one that I’ve played. An RPG with limited leveling up functionality is definitely not something to take lightly. That said, just fight smart and have a lot of backup saves. You’ll be just fine by the end of it and if you absolutely need to, you’ll be able to go back and level up. Just don’t use up all your saves in the final dungeon because then there really is no way out!

Overall 8/10